MICHAEL LEGGE Late & Live at the Classic

The Classic Studio, 321 Queen St, Auckland

14/05/2014 - 17/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details


Michael Legge is a no-holds barred Northern Irish comedian, actor, writer, improviser and famous grouch, snapping away at all the pricks in the world and the politeness in society that tolerates them.

He makes his local debut at the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival featuring in the 5 Star Comedy Preview and The Big Show alongside John Gordillo, John Robins and other international guests.

But for just 4 nights from 14 to 17 May, in The Classic Studio on Queen St, Legge will be busting out his own solo Late & Live at the Classic from 10pm.

“This is vitriolic observational stand-up at its finest …The language is perfectly judged, with some beautifully splenetic turns of phrase. And the effect of all this impassioned negativity is, ironically, quite joyous” – Chortle.co.uk

“sublime paroxysms of beautifully crafted fury” The Scotsman

“Hugely enjoyable” The Independent UK

As an actor, Michael Legge has appeared in a variety of films and plays including the role of the older Frank McCourt in ‘Angela’s Ashes’.

As part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider, grab some mates and join us for a great night of laughs from 24 April – 18 May.

For the full Comedy Fest show line-up head to comedyfestival.co.nz

MICHAEL LEGGE – Late & Live at The Classic

Dates: Wed 14 – Sat 17 May, 10pm
Venue: The Classic Studio, Level 1, 321 Queen St
Tickets: $20 – $25
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) // ticketek.co.nz

High volume venom yet pretty casual

Review by Robbie Nicol 15th May 2014

In the opening moments of his show Michael Legge declares the microphone “totally superfluous.” And he’s right; Legge’s virulent yelling is anything but hard to hear. Thankfully, his venom is undercut with the frequent reminder that he is almost always the one that’s in the wrong.

The Northern-Irish stand-up has been the host of the Big Show and The Classic Late & Live at this year’s festival, but seeing him perform for a full hour allows him to be both more vicious and more likeable. When he criticises comedians who claim to be the star of some TV show they barely appeared in, he admits that he would do the same if given the opportunity. His whole act is like this: a balance of angry superiority and loveable embarrassment.

He sometimes fires his content directly at audience members, stepping off the small Classic Studio stage and yelling at random audience members who take on the role of whoever Legge happens to be railing against. If a joke ever gets a smaller laugh than Legge expects it too, then he aligns himself with the audience. He uses his bitter stage persona to make their lack of laughter seem like an affirmation of the Michael Legge approach to life.

Despite the volume and ferocity of Legge’s performance, the show actually feels pretty casual. We start late, and the room is not sold out, a point Legge draws a lot of comedy out of in the opening moments of his show, and perhaps as a result of all that ad-libbed material he cuts some of his material as he goes.

In the end we only get through about half the stuff we were meant to, and Legge offers to tell a particularly good story to anybody that chooses to stick around for a pint. This attitude leaves the audience feeling as though they haven’t missed out on anything. As Legge says, “Stewart Lee just says ‘Fuck ya’ and walks off if he runs out of time. I’m trying to keep in touch!” 

At the end of his show, Legge recommends we go see John Gordillo downstairs, suggesting we might even be treated to a concise ending. Legge’s show does not come equipped with one of those, but it just isn’t that sort of performance. It is a scrappy series of entertaining and embarrassing stories, with a dose of violent anger. It is well worth a visit, even if Legge hasn’t been the star of any TV shows. 


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